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Forget Europe. How About These Allies?
[FINAL Edition]
The Washington Post - Washington, D.C.
Subjects: Foreign policy; Terrorism; Political alliances; Globalization
Author: Thomas P.M. Barnett
Date: Apr 11, 2004
Start Page: B.05
Section: OUTLOOK

Globalization's steady advance across the planet marks the battle lines in the war on terrorism. Show me regions deeply embedded in the global economy or moving rapidly toward its rule-bound embrace, and I will show you all the states that should logically be counted among our strongest allies. That "functioning core" of globalization includes North America, much of South America, the European Union, Russia, Japan and Asia's emerging economies (most notably China and India), Australia and New Zealand, and South Africa -- representing more than 4 billion people in a global population of 6.4 billion. Are all of these states democratic today? Hardly. But connecting up to the global economy is how you grow a middle class, and that's the main ingredient needed for a stable democracy over the long haul.

Second, such new core powers show a real passion for doing what it takes to further globalization's advance. Note the emergence of the so-called Group of 20-plus in the current Doha Round of World Trade Organization negotiations. These new core powers (e.g., India, China, Mexico, Brazil, South Korea) are aggressively working to conclude new trade bargains between globalization's old core powers (the United States, Europe, Japan) and those regions currently sitting outside the global economy, noses pressed to the glass.

The United States would find far more realistic partners in China, India and Russia, because none of those states is foolish enough to believe that its future strategic security can be bought by distancing itself from the Middle East's chronic conflicts. Until Washington effectively enlists globalization's new core powers in the war on terrorism, our historic reliance on Old Europe will remain our Achilles' heel, easily exploited by an al Qaeda whose strategic vision currently exceeds our own.

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